What Is Metformin? And Is It Right For You?
Are you one of the millions of women who’ve been diagnosed with PCOS or high blood sugar? Do you struggle every day with symptoms like excessive weight, mood swings, infertility, facial hair or acne? When you’re dealing with such terrible symptoms, finding a solution becomes your top priority. Hi, I’m Robin Nielsen, the Chief Wellness Officer here at Insulite Health. I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve personally experienced symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, and I know the difficult challenges you face. Perhaps you’re wondering if prescription drugs might be that solution. In fact your doctor may suggest the drug Metformin, also known as Glucophage. What is Metformin, and is it right for you? Metformin is a drug originally used to treat high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s sometimes prescribed to women with PCOS because both diabetes and PCOS share an underlying cause. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help get sugar into our cells to burn for fuel. I call insulin the key that unlocks the cell. Insulin resistance occurs when your body’s cells resist the effects of insulin, causing you to produce even more insulin and actually store the sugar in the blood as fat, here around your middle. Too much insulin leads to an imbalance of hormones, especially sex hormones. Metformin can improve your body’s response to insulin at the cellular level, so your body produces less insulin, which can stabilize your hormonal levels and lower blood sugar. Women who take Metformin for PCOS may see improvements in some of their symptoms, such as hirsutism, irregular menstrual cycles, and weight gain, but not without a price. Metformin’s use is associated with many side effects, some potentially serious or even life-threatening. Dig Continue reading >>
Metformin, Weight Loss & Pcos – Does It Actually Work?
Did you know that one of the main reasons you can't lose weight with PCOS is because of your hormones? It's true, and that's why many women (and physicians) turn to using Metformin to try and help with weight loss. But just because it works for some people doesn't mean it will necessarily work for YOU. Find out why metformin helps with weight loss, but more important what works better and how to finally lose weight if you have PCOS. Insulin & PCOS: Why It's so Important One of the most common medications prescribed for PCOS is metformin. But, PCOS is a hormonal condition which results in weight gain, hair growth on the face, infertility, acne and estrogen/progesterone imbalances. So why is metformin, a medication used to lower blood sugar and treat insulin resistance, used to treat estrogen/progesterone imbalances in women? The logic is quite simple: Most of the symptoms of PCOS (all those listed above) stem from insulin resistanc e! In fact many physicians recommend that ALL women with PCOS should be treated for insulin resistance regardless of what their fasting insulin and fasting blood sugar levels are. This means that the root cause of PCOS (at least the majority of it) is insulin resistance, and this is why metformin is so commonly used to treat. Insulin resistance causes a block of glucose uptake in your skeletal muscles which results in a lower metabolism (and weight gain), insulin also directly acts on your ovaries and adrenals increasing androgens like testosterone and DHEA. It's also the action of insulin on your pituitary that results in increased LH production which over stimulates your ovaries resulting in the characteristic "cysts" of PCOS. High levels of DHEA and testosterone lead to acne and hair growth (hirsutism). But one simple question r Continue reading >>
How To Take Metformin For Pcos
by eHow Health Editor; Updated September 30, 2017 How to Take Metformin for PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder of the endocrine system and is a leading cause of infertility in women. With the numerous cysts it causes on the ovaries, PCOS affects much more than just the reproductive organs. It is closely linked with insulin resistance and type II diabetes, for unknown reasons. Prescribing metformin, a popular anti-diabetes drug, often helps control the symptoms of PCOS, even in women without insulin resistance. Consult with your doctor about the dosage of metformin that he's prescribed for you to take. Pills are available in 500mg, 850mg and 1000mg increments. Discuss the advantages of the extended release version of metformin to see if it is right for you. The slow release reduces the gastrointestinal upset associated with metformin. It also allows you to take your full daily dose at one time. Begin by taking a quarter of your full dose for the first week. Add another quarter for the second week, another quarter for the third week and then take the full dose starting at the fourth week. Ramping up to the full dose also lessens the severity of the gastrointestinal upset. Be prepared to suffer some diarrhea, nausea, cramps and vomiting for the first couple of weeks. These side effects should go away after two or three weeks with regular use of metformin. Take the metformin at the end of a meal or at bedtime to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects. Follow a low glycemic index diet and avoid alcohol. This will help with the side effects, and also increase the effectiveness of metformin. Continue taking the metformin for 6 months. The majority of PCOS patients will see improvements in insulin levels and ovulatory function within that time. Be aware t Continue reading >>
6 Reasons Why Metformin Might Not Be Safe For Pcos
Have you been prescribed metformin for PCOS and are wondering what the side affects are? Metformin is often described as a ‘safe’ drug, but read on to find out why this might not be the case. When I was diagnosed with PCOS, the first thing I asked my GP was what I could take to ‘fix’ it. She gently explained that there was no pill or surgery that could cure my condition. However, there was a drug that could help with the elevated insulin levels caused by it. Metformin, she claimed, was a safe drug with no major side effects that would help with insulin resistance and weight loss. Sign me up. At first, I thought metformin was the wonder drug. I lost about 5kg in 4 months, more than I had ever been able to lose previously. I was ecstatic. I had a quick look online to see whether there were any side effects and initially found that diarrhea, loose stools, fatigue, and muscle soreness were commonly experienced. But I thought that it was small price to pay for finally being able to lose some weight. However, when I investigated further I found that that there are some much more sinister side effects of metformin that aren’t so widely publicised. These include: – Depleting our bodies of essential nutrients. – Increasing the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect by up to 9 times. – Reducing energy levels by almost 50%. – Killing beneficial gut bacteria. This article is not intended to be a case against metformin for PCOS. There is no doubt that metformin helps to reduce weight, lowers blood glucose levels, and promotes ovulation. My concern is the lack of studies about the safety of long-term use of metformin for PCOS, especially in utero. Drugs can help with the associated symptoms of a disease, but they cannot fix the root cause of it. Metformin i Continue reading >>
Role Of Metformin In The Management Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Go to: Background Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinological disorder affecting 4–12% of women [Diamanti-Kandarakis et al. 1999; Farah et al. 1999; Knochenhauer et al. 1998]. It has also been the most controversial medical condition and every aspect has received a lot of attention from the nomenclature to the management. Several descriptions of similar conditions took place in the 20th century and it was named Stein—Leventhal Syndrome in 1935 after the authors who described polycystic ovarian morphology in patients suffering from hirsutism, amenorrhoea and infertility [Leventhal, 1958; Stein and Leventhal, 1935]. PCOS was also called polycystic ‘ovarian’ syndrome implying that the primary pathology lies in or triggered by the ovary. Others have called it polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), which is the least used term for obvious reasons. Currently, PCOS refers to a disorder with a combination of reproductive and metabolic characteristics. This has evolved over time with controversy over the definition culminating in the latest consensus [ESHRE/ASRM, 2004] which instead of solving the issue created more controversy [Azziz et al. 2006]. In the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology/American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ESHRE/ASRM) consensus, at least two of the following features are needed to make the diagnosis; oligo/anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic features on ultrasound scan [ESHRE/ASRM, 2004]. The Androgen Excess Society, however, recommended that androgen excess should remain a constant feature of PCOS irrespective of the ovulatory status and morphological features of the ovaries [Azziz et al. 2006]. For almost three decades, PCOS has been regarded as a life course disease which besides its reproductiv Continue reading >>
Pcos And Metformin – Is This Treatment Right For You?
Here at Flo Living headquarters I speak with many women suffering with PCOS who have either been offered Metformin and decided against it or have tried Metformin and it’s not worked for them. If you have a diagnosis of PCOS it’s very likely that at some point your doctor has suggested Metformin. I personally was what would be considered the “perfect” candidate for this treatment when I was in my 20s and suffering with PCOS – overweight, struggling with acne and a complete lack of periods. However, I never tried it myself – instead I created a protocol for myself that became Flo Living. I’ve since helped many women manage their PCOS successfully with this protocol, just as I did my own diagnosis. That said, I speak with women so often about the Metformin option that I want to share my perspective with you. Although I do not dismiss the option completely, I do have some caveats and concerns. What is Metformin? Metformin is a first-line medication for those suffering with type 2 diabetes. It is also presented as a treatment for PCOS sufferers who are also overweight or obese. Not all PCOS sufferers have weight gain as a symptom, it depends on the kind of PCOS. Women with the kind of PCOS that causes weight gain are usually insulin resistant. Metformin reduces overall insulin levels. Insulin resistance is when the cells of your body become resistant to the hormone insulin, preventing glucose from entering your cells to be used for energy, and instead causing soaring levels of sugar blood stream bringing about diabetes, pre-diabetes or insulin-resistant PCOS. The connection between insulin and PCOS is blood sugar regulation. We hear about this most commonly with diabetes, but it’s also very important with PCOS. An unstable, constantly spiking and crashing, bl Continue reading >>
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Metformin For Pcos And Getting Pregnant
Metformin and other insulin-sensitizing medications lower excess levels of insulin in the body.Besides metformin, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are other insulin-sensitizing drugs that may be used to treat PCOS. There are several reasons why your doctor may prescribe metformin when treating your PCOS, some of them fertility related: As stated above, insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS. Metformin may be prescribed to treat insulin resistance, which may then help regulate the reproductive hormones and restart ovulation. Some research on metformin and PCOS shows that menstrual cycles become more regular and ovulation returns with the treatment of metformin. This may happen without needing fertility drugs like Clomid . However, some larger research studies did not find a benefit to taking metformin. For this reason, some doctors are recommending that metformin be used only to treat women who are insulin-resistant and not all women with PCOS regardless of whether or not they are insulin-resistant. While Clomid will help many women with PCOS ovulate, some women are Clomid-resistant . (This is a fancy way of saying that it doesn't work for them.) Some research studies have found that taking metformin for 4 to 6 months before starting Clomid treatment may improve success for women who are Clomid-resistant. Another option for women with Clomid resistance may be metformin combined with letrozole . If Clomid doesnt help you get pregnant, the next step is usually gonadotropins or injectable fertility drugs . Research has found that combination injectables with metformin may improve ongoing pregnant rates. One study found that combining metformin with injectables improved the live birth rate when compared to treatment with injectables alone. In this study, if the live Continue reading >>
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Fertility Treatment With Metformin (glucophage)
How Metformin Is Used for Polycystic Ovaries Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of anovulation and infertility in women. These women do not ovulate (release eggs) regularly and therefore have irregular menstrual periods. The ovaries have many small cysts (2-7 mm diameter) called antral follicles, giving the ovaries a characteristic "polycystic" (many cysts) appearance on ultrasound. A relatively new method of treating ovulation problems in women with polycystic ovarian disease is to use an oral medication called metformin (brand name is Glucophage). Metformin has traditionally been used as an oral drug to help control diabetes. Then, some smart doctor figured out that polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment with metformin can be very effective. If Glucophage alone does not result in ovulation and pregnancy, we often use: If the combination therapy is not effective, we can try: Metformin Use with IVF Treatment We also use Glucophage in women going through in vitro fertilization for PCOS, and for those with very high antral follicle counts - if their ovaries are "polycystic" by ultrasound. We find that some women with polycystic ovaries respond with a "smoother" response to the injectable FSH medication if they have been taking Glucophage. Risks and Side Effects of Metformin / Glucophage In about 25% of women Glucophage causes side effects which may include abdominal discomfort, cramping, diarrhea and nausea. The side effects may be severe enough to make the woman stop the Glucophage medication. We are not aware of any serious complications resulting from Glucophage treatment. Another oral medication used for diabetes called Troglitazone has been associated with liver failure and death in rare cases. This has been publicized on television shows, in newspapers, et Continue reading >>
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- Relative effectiveness of insulin pump treatment over multiple daily injections and structured education during flexible intensive insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes: cluster randomised trial (REPOSE)
Have Pcos Or Diabetes? Is Metformin (glucophage) Your Best Choice?
Should you take metformin -- nor not? Is there a better alternative? This page will answer your questions. It's an anti-diabetic drug sometimes used to treat PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), although it is used chiefly to help control Type 2 diabetes. This drug offers both benefits and significant risks. Free PCOS Newsletter The FDA has approved it only for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Because of this limitation, some physicians don't have much clinical experience using Glucophage to treat PCOS and don't always feel comfortable using it unless you have diabetes. 13 Side Effects of Metformin Your Doctor Didn't Tell You About Did you know that metformin has at least 13 under-recognized side effects? Some of them can be serious. Read more about the side effects. Can't Tolerate It? Try This! Medical research is now showing that there are natural alternatives to this and other drugs for treating PCOS, diabetes or metabolic syndrome. So if you're uncomfortable with the idea of taking Glucophage for years to come, or you've tried it but can't tolerate its side effects, take a look at the natural alternatives that are just as effective as metformin. Does It Reduce PCOS Symptoms? Some medical guidelines say it is not the first thing you should try for controlling PCOS. However, it may be helpful IF you have insulin resistance. Read more... Take Supplemental Vitamin B12! Recent research is showing that you will develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if you take this drug for over a year or so. A deficiency in vitamin B12 could have undesirable consequences if for fetal development if you're pregnancy or trying to become pregnant. Read more... Is It Appropriate for Girls? As girls and teenagers start to have trouble with their weight, irregular periods, early appearance of public Continue reading >>
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome And Pregnancy: Is Metformin The Magic Bullet?
This article reviews the literature regarding the effects of metformin therapy in pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome on weight loss, fertility, early pregnancy loss, malformations, gestational diabetes mellitus, perinatal mortality, placental clearance, lactation, and early childhood development. The pharmacology of metformin is also presented. Preliminary data suggest that metformin for this population may be both safe and effective. Large blinded, randomized clinical trials are underway to confirm the preliminary safety data. History of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Although the first description of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is generally credited to Stein and Leventhal in 1935, it may have been observed as early as 1721, when the Italian scientist Antonio Vallisneri observed “young married peasant women, moderately obese and infertile, with two larger than normal ovaries, bumpy and shiny, whitish, just like pigeon eggs.”1 This depiction sounds strikingly similar to the subfertility and obesity commonly found in PCOS. It was not until 1921 that Achard and Theirs2 noticed a relationship between hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in their study of the “bearded diabetic woman.” And in 1935, Stein and Leventhal3 made the connection between amenorrhea and polycystic ovaries. In addition, they also noticed the occurrence of masculinizing changes, such as hirsutism and acne, in many patients with polycystic ovaries. Several, but not all, of Stein and Leventhal's original case studies involved women who were overweight. In all seven of their case reports, attempts to treat ovulatory dysfunction with estrogenic hormone failed, and wedge resection was employed. All of their patients gained normal menstruation, and two became pregnant. Surgery for PCOS Continue reading >>
Metformin Side Effects For Pcos: 6 Things You Need To Know
Insulin resistance is seen in the majority of women with PCOS. Doctors prescribe metformin for PCOS because it is an effective insulin sensitizer. However, the drug comes with its share of side effects. Let’s look at Metformin side effects for PCOS in detail. Metformin Side Effects For PCOS 1. Malaise Or Physical Discomfort As many as 1 in every 4 women on metformin just does not feel well. There is a feeling of fatigue even without much physical exertion. Sometimes, this fatigue is accompanied with aches that can last for a varying degree of time. While this may not sound too severe, it is one of the most common Metformin side effect for PCOS. 2. Gastrointestinal Distress Gastrointestinal problems is another common Metformin side effect for PCOS (experienced by nearly a third of women taking the drug.) These problems include abdominal pain, nausea, occasional vomiting, loose motions, irregular bowel movements or diarrhea. Bloating and flatulence can be a major source of embarrassment. Anorexia and a sharp metallic taste can play havoc with appetite, especially because eating a healthy diet at the right times is critical for PCOS patients. Heartburn and headaches add to the suffering caused by PCOS symptoms. 3. Anemia Another Metformin side effect for PCOS is a decrease in Vitamin B12 levels because the drug affects the absorption of this vitamin. Vitamin B12 is vital for red blood cell formation. When levels of vitamin B12 go down, you can suffer from anemia. Common symptoms of anemia include tiredness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Vitamin B12 also plays an important role in many bodily processes. For example, there is evidence of a relationship between low levels of vitamin B12 and an increased risk of heart diseases. 4. Accumulation Of Homocysteine Long-term use Continue reading >>
Can Metformin Help Women With Pcos?
Home / Fertility / Boosting Fertility We asked doctors whether the drug Metformin really helps women with PCOS conceive, reduce miscarriage risk and increase milk supply. Here's what they say. If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you're not alone. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information , this hormonal disorder affects between 5 percent and 15 percent of women of reproductive age in this country. In polycystic ovary syndrome, cysts develop on the ovaries, and the body produces excess hormones called androgens, which cause an irregular menstrual cycle. As a result, ovulation can be unpredictable, and getting pregnant can be challenging. "Since puberty, I've averaged one menstrual cycle per year," says Carrie, a mother from the Midwest who has PCOS. "I always wondered if I could have children." Carrie tried getting pregnant for several months, but wasn't able to because she wasn't ovulating. After evaluating her bloodwork, her OB/GYN suggested she go on either Clomid or Metformin to help balance her hormones to promote ovulation. "Because I had a very slight imbalance in my hormones, my doctor suggested trying Metformin before going straight to Clomid. Since I heard horror stories about Clomid causing multiples, I was happy to try Metformin first," Carrie says. Metformin is a diabetes medication that is sometimes used to regulate hormones in women with PCOS by balancing their insulin level. This effect leads to more regular menstruation and ovulation cycles , according to WebMD . Carrie got pregnant the first month she took Metformin. But not all women with polycystic ovary syndrome have such good results. In fact, experts say more evidence is needed to prove that Metformin helps conception in PCOS patients . "When putting all the data tog Continue reading >>
10 Facts About Metformin And Pcos
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common hormonal disorder that is one of the leading causes of infertility. Some women who have PCOS develop insulin resistance. This occurs when the cells of the body don’t respond well to a hormone known as insulin. Insulin allows the cells to take sugar (glucose) from the blood. If the cells don’t take in this sugar it leads to higher levels of glucose and insulin circulating through the body in the bloodstream. This, in turn, leads to increased levels of androgens (male hormones) which cause the classic symptoms of PCOS such as excess hair growth and more importantly in terms of fertility – lack of ovulation. Getting pregnant with PCOS can be possible with the right diagnosis and treatment plan. Here are the Top 10 facts about metformin use in PCOS patients: 1) Metformin is a medication that is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is marketed in the US under the names Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza and Riomet. It is available as a tablet, extended-release tablet and a liquid. 2) With infertility patients, it is used not because the women with PCOS have diabetes (although they do have an increased risk of developing this disease), but because it acts on improving use of insulin by the cells of the body and therefore reducing the level of insulin in the blood. This can lead to improved ovulation, more regular menstrual cycles as well as a reduction in excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain. It may also slow down or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes later in life. 3) To determine if it would be helpful for a patient with PCOS to use Metformin, they are given a 2 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test. First, a fasting blood sample is drawn to determine a baseline glucose level. The patient t Continue reading >>
Pcos: Insulin And Metformin
Young women with PCOS often have elevated insulin levels and are more likely to develop diabetes. Metformin is a medication often prescribed for women with PCOS to help prevent diabetes. A lifestyle that includes healthy nutrition and daily exercise is the most important part of a PCOS treatment plan. What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ in the body called the pancreas. The food you eat is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) during digestion. Glucose is absorbed into the blood after you eat. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells of the body to be used as energy. If there’s not enough insulin in the body, or if the body can’t use the insulin, sugar levels in the blood become higher. What is insulin resistance? If your body is resistant to insulin, it means you need high levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal. Certain medical conditions such as being overweight or having PCOS can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance tends to run in families. What can insulin resistance do to me? High insulin levels can cause thickening and darkening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans) on the back of the neck, axilla (under the arms), and groin area. In young women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. This can cause increased body hair, acne, and irregular or few periods. Having insulin resistance can increase your risk of developing diabetes. How can I lower my insulin levels? You can help lower your insulin levels naturally by eating fewer starches and sugars, and more foods that are high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels as much as foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydr Continue reading >>
If a woman is not seeking to become pregnant, hormonal birth control (most often birth control pills) is a standard treatment. Birth control pills regulate periods and improve excess hair growth and acne by lowering androgen levels and protect the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) against abnormal cell growth. Older types of birth control pills have lower risk for dangerous blood clots and are preferable over new types of birth control pills. Although metformin is not approved by the FDA for treatment of PCOS, many doctors prescribe it for PCOS patients. Metformin is a medicine that makes the body more sensitive to insulin. This can help lower elevated blood glucose levels, insulin levels, and androgen levels. People who use metformin may lose some weight as well. Metformin can improve menstrual patterns, but metformin doesn’t help as much for unwanted excess hair. Many women who are diagnosed with PCOS are often automatically prescribed metformin. However, it's important to have a reason for taking metformin and not be on it just because of a diagnosis of PCOS. Discuss with your doctor the reason why you are taking metformin and whether it is providing a benefit to you. Clomiphene (Clomid) is an oral medication that is the most common treatment used to induce ovulation. The use of both metformin and clomiphene has about the same fertility results as clomiphene use alone. A benefit is that metformin may help reduce the risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (see also "What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) during assisted reproductive technology (ART) fertility treatments. Other treatments to stimulate ovulation include another oral medication called letrozole (Femara) and gonadotropins which are hormones that are given by injection. In vitro fert Continue reading >>